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Home Secretary Priti Patel visits Kent to announce more police officers

Kent's police and crime commissioner is confident the force will cope with whatever Brexit throws at it as the prospect of a no-deal grows.

Matthew Scott says contingency plans are place to cover the possibility of officers having to deal with multiple events on the county's roads.

Police chief says force 'will cope with Brexit'

His comments come after motorists faced mayhem following the closure of the M2 for eight hours yesterday after a fatal crash.

It was the latest in a series of recent incidents on the county's road network that have led to widespread disruption.

Mr Scott was speaking during a visit to the force's training college in Maidstone by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

She was marking the announcement of the first wave of extra officers being recruited with Kent securing government funding for 147.

The force will have a key role in managing the different phases of Operation Brock, the contingency plan that involves a contraflow on the M20 and diverting lorries to the Manston airfield site.

Priti patel speaks to police officers
Priti patel speaks to police officers

Asked if he was confident the police would cope, Mr Scott said: “Kent Police has been ready for a long time; as has the county council and the highways authorities.

"I believe the plans we have locally for Kent have been well thought through and have lots of different aspects that have been looked at and considered, so my hope is that they will work really well.

"But what we need is a deal so we don’t have the mass disruption at ports."

He said the contingency plans developed by the Kent Resilience Partnership would have tested how to deal with more than one incident.

“I think we can be confident we have done our bit; we just need to make sure other agencies have done their bit,” he said.

Kent's Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott is confident force can cope with no-deal Brexit
Kent's Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott is confident force can cope with no-deal Brexit

Mr Scott's comments were echoed by Kent chief constable Alan Pughsley, who said Brexit contingency plans had factored in how to cope with multiple events.

“My force has been massively involved in preparing for Brexit for months and months and months; so whatever comes on October 31, I am comfortable that we are as prepared as we can be.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the UK would leave the EU come what may on October 31.

“We want to leave with a deal if we possibly can but at the same time we are absolutely clear that we will leave without one if that is a position we are put in," she said.

How is Brexit going to affect Kent? For all the latest news, views and analysis visit our dedicated page here

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